Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New House!

We have been waiting with baited breath to find out what would happen with our dream house since we found it about 2 weeks ago.

The house was up for auction on a foreclosure site that Matt works with and when we saw it we freaked out.  Seriously, it's more than we could imagine. 

Because it was up for auction, there were so many things we just didn't know and had no control over.  All we could do was decide what we would bid for it and wait to see how much competition we got at the courthouse. 

Well, long story short, we got it!  And then the upside of this process is that we got keys the same day (last Friday) and started moving stuff in right away!

this is a picture Matt took from the right side of the house showing the front door (and garage, obviously)...

and this is a picture I took from the left side of the yard...
This was my first attempt at a panoramic shot with my new iphone.  It shows the OTHER garage (right??) and the slice of the Puget Sound we see (the view from the backyard is better!)  I was standing in some questionable landscaping- can't wait until Spring to see exactly what we have and what condition it's in!  :) 

This house is particularly amazing because of its location.  Aside from the view, we will be exactly 3 minutes, 53 seconds from Matt's sister's driveway, and she and I are SOOOOO excited!  I may have said this about Angie before, but she's really like my big sister too, and I'm basically planning on being in one of our two kitchens every day for the rest of our lives.  Maybe we will cook our way through a cookbook together and blog about it!  

Audrey will be third in a line of four little girls born from Sept-March in our close circle of friends/family.  Until we bought this house, we were the only family not in Tacoma or UP and I'm SO excited that our pigtail brigade will be close for play dates and sleepovers in the future!

And last but not least, Matt will be only 3 minutes from his new office!  For a man who drives ALL day long to properties and showings, not having a commute to start and end his day is HUGE.

We're hoping to move in (fully) just after Christmas.  I don't know if we're crazy to do that since I'll be 32 weeks tomorrow but when Matt asked me when I'd want to move in, ASAP was my vote.  Because I NEED to nest right now and  I really want to be more or less settled before baby comes. 

We've been making daily trips with the jeep to bring things from the garage: camping gear, books, etc to move gradually and then we'll have a moving company do the furniture last.  Appliances are being delivered next Tuesday and HOPEFULLY by then the city of Tacoma will have our power up and running. 

Other than that and some yard work, the only thing the house needs is some paint!  SUCH a blessing! 

(I promise I'll post better pictures but it has been gray and rainy since Friday which is the winter norm in the PNW)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

28 1/2 weeks

How far along? 28 weeks, 4 days
Baby is the size of:  an eggplant!  Still measuring perfectly according to the fundus measurement my OB does.  HR at 133 this week- she was mellow in there. 
Maternity clothes?  I may need to go shopping for a different pair of jeans to get me through the rest of my pregnancy b/c my thighs are getting bigger.  Boo.  I think possibly a second pair of Gap maternity leggings too because I basically live in them when not at work.  They are amazing, worth every penny & the only under-belly pants I can recommend.  And because they don't have a panel, they'll be good transition pants for post-baby!  The drape of the top DEFINITELY makes a difference.  Every time I wear this striped sweater people comment that I'm so tiny.  And anything jersey gets a different response.  I'm convinced it's because I'm carrying low and the jersey clings to the bottom of my belly. Dresses have been the BEST and I'm loving my pencil skirt but have been only wearing it once a week.  Side note, when pairing a maternity pencil skirt with maternity tights and using the bathroom, just pull the whole thing down.  Those stretchy panels compete with each other if you're pulling the skirt down over the tights and if you use the bathroom as many times as I do during a workday, this is an important aha moment to have.  :)
Stretch marks? nope
Sleep: Yeah, sleep is getting more challenging.  I switched out the pillows I'm using and have a flatter one between my knees which has been better.   
Best moment this week: Passed my glucose test!  Yeah, baby!  I celebrated with pie.  :)  They were testing my iron at the same time and I'm in the clear there as well!  So grateful that there have been no complications so far. I've had a fairly easy pregnancy & keep telling Matt that I could do this 3 or 4 more times.  Also scored big time on my Ikea trip last week.  I'll post an entire nursery projects post with more details about that.  

Also had a massage on Monday which was in.credible.  There were 3 pillows and me on the massage table.  It was fantastic.  I cried, it felt so good.  The masseuse and I had a good laugh over it.  
Miss Anything? Rolling over in bed without a production.  Ending a conversation with a stranger without being asked when I'm due.  I just don't want my boss thinking I've checked out and only want to talk about the baby. 
Movement: Little girl is getting stronger & it's so fun to feel her move more every day!  I still have a hard time distinguishing her movements but this week felt her kick like 5 quick times in a row like a tiny Rockette.  :)  Or maybe it was her fist and she'll be a drummer?  Movements still feel primarily like (big) flutters, rolling, and these jerky movements that seem like a whole body startle.  But it's hard to tell for sure.
Food cravings:  fruit as always, chocolate, cheddar cheese, & spicy things like Tapatio and buffalo wings.  
Anything making you queasy or sick:  nope
Gender: Girl!
Labor Signs: Random Braxton Hicks.  I had to be told that's what I was feeling- it's mostly just uncomfortable (tummy gets tight and it's hard to breathe normally because it feels like my organs are being compressed). Fun times!   I'm relieved it's not just the norm for the entire 3rd trimester, though- for some reason that's what I assumed the first time I felt it & got nervous that I can't really handle it 24/7 for 12 weeks.  Fortunately they've only come 2 or 3 times a week and only last about a minute or 2.  That I can handle.

Symptoms: the most dramatic symptoms seem to happen during or after, um, sex.  Like charlie horses & colostrum (!!!) which has (I'm sorry, this is TMI) beaded up a little.  It was shocking!  Not at all what I thought it would be like.  Also apparently the Braxton Hicks can be triggered by a particularly intense orgasm which is kind of a downer.  Pregnancy has been a lot of little surprises, like you know things are symptoms but actually experiencing them yourself or watching your body change is so much different.  Another TMI example: I had to buy a new bra last weekend and the wonderful lady who fitted me brought me a cream lace bra so I could feel pretty (and because she works on commission and is good at her job).  I saw my very brown aereola through the lace and though it was a tag.  And we both had a good laugh. 
Belly Button in or out? in. Unless she shifts MUCH higher, I'm not sure it'll really flatten out or pop out at all.  

Wedding rings on or off? On, but I'm not sure for how much longer.  I think this may be my last week with my ring so that I can actually take it off without a panic session.  I asked Matt if he wanted to help me pick out a cheap stand-in and he wants  to buy me a ring pop.  He said he'll keep a good supply so I can eat it during the day.   He's cute, but that's not happening.  Partly because they size those things for kids and I need something BIGGER, not smaller than my current ring. 
Happy or Moody most of the time: Yeah, pretty moody.  Feeling like I need to prepare more for the actuality of having a CHILD and all that entails ASIDE from clothes I want to buy her.  Had a pity party this week thinking bout celebrating my birthday.  Continued indignance at strangers doing stupid things ("THIS is the world I'm bringing a baby into?!?!")  VERY touchy about the size of my belly or anyone I'm not related to saying I'm "big".  I need to keep track of the silly things that make me cry lately- it's a pretty amusing list.  I'm not miserable, just to clarify.  I love being pregnant & am so thankful and joyful- but there are many, many emotions that surface throughout my days. 
Looking forward to: My birthday is Wednesday (30!!) and Thanksgiving on Thursday.  We're hosting & are getting everything ready today for the bird & stuffing.  Makes me sooo glad I passed that glucose test!  :)  

Randoms: Can we talk about how ballsy people get when they see your pregnant belly?  It's ALL my customers want to talk about and men in particular have NO filter!  I opened an account for a guy 2 weeks ago and he called Friday to ask for his routing number and mentioned he'd seen me earlier in the day when he was at the ATM and that it "looked like an alien was trying to escape from you!"  Umm what?  I met you 2 weeks ago, dude.  That's not an endearment.  

If you're trying to figure out what, if anything, to say to a moody, 7 months pregnant stranger, go the route of the girl at my vet's office.  Yesterday I took Paris to get her nails trimmed (they're black and we are big babies, cut her once and now prefer to pay $12 to avoid trauma all around).  Anyway, after asking me when I'm due, she said she hoped she looks as good as me when she's pregnant.  That people, is how to talk to a pregnant lady.  I gushed my thanks and told the alien story. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

26 week bump update

How far along? 26 weeks, 1 day
Baby is the size of: a head of lettuce/english cucumber/eggplant.  What, you say?  Those vegetables vary GREATLY in size and shape?  Yeah, welcome to the wacky, specific world of 21st century baby measurement. 
Total Weight gain:  Won't find out again until the next appt (the dreaded glucose test).  But am thinking about removing this line from the updates. :)
Maternity clothes?  I ventured back into Motherhood Maternity last weekend (had a really bad 1st experience there...I don't recommend going in until at LEAST your 2nd trimester for anything but pants...) Got a pencil skirt and maternity tights for work.  LOVE THEM BOTH!  Had a funny experience with the seam at the front of the tights.  When I pulled them on it was really crooked & off to the side & I kept trying to wrestle it into place (the center of my tummy).  Apparently there are 2 seams to accommodate your belly.  Ohhhhh.  :)
Stretch marks? Not yet!  Although I'm creeping into the 3rd trimester soon.  Pretty sure all bets are off then.  
Sleep: I wake myself up on my back pretty frequently but otherwise sleep has been pretty good!  Little lady likes to move a LOT right as I'm getting serious about falling asleep so that's been a little more challenging. 
Best moment this week: We painted the nursery last weekend with Matt's parents & put the crib together!  It's so pretty in there, even only partially finished, & I can't wait to post pictures on here!  Also the slipcover for the chair we found on craigslist came yesterday and fits perfectly, looks amazing!

Miss Anything?
Movement: So much more movement!  During the day it feels like champagne bubbles popping (which I had expected during earlier movement but didn't really understand), she loves barrel rolls, swimming laps (and doing a somersault to kick off the "side"), and last night we had fun watching my belly twitch and jerk as she played around.  I kept shining my phone on it (the lights were off) & then she would stop moving...I don't think she liked the light!
Food cravings:
Anything making you queasy or sick:  nope
Gender: Girl!
Labor Signs: thankfully she is still cooking away in there.  No signs that she's making an early arrival. 

Symptoms: round ligament pain in the bottom of my tummy, never the sides.  As obvious in my picture, I'm carrying super low, so that's where the stretching is. 
Belly Button in or out? In still. But it's looking shallower, *almost* like a normal person's belly button. 

Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!  but easily irritated by strangers.  Things that would have elicited an eye roll pre-pregnancy make me super indignant now.  Also the crying.  Last week I cried 10x in one day.  I had the day off from work and had time to reflect on baby girl (tears), listen to sweet country lyrics (tears), get emotional over tv plotlines (you get the point).  I even burst into tears when Matt prevented me from yawning.  We play this weird game where we poke each other in the mouth or blow air into the other person's mouth when they are trying to yawn.  It's beyond irritating after a minute or so & I think it could be a form of torture.  But yes, tears.  And then I cracked up.  So maybe "moody" is the best, honest answer for this one.  But I am happy, I swear! :)
Looking forward to: Putting more of the nursery together.  I think I finally decided on a dresser/changing table combo (IKEA expedit shelving with feet attached) & will be venturing out to Ikea on veteran's day (my next day off that isn't a Saturday) with a list (did you know you can print one from their website?  How great is that?  It definitely makes me more optimistic about staying within a budget while I'm there.)

Can't wait to post updates soon on the nursery!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

24 week bump update

How far along? 24 weeks, 1 day
Baby is the size of: a corn.  Not "corn", "a corn".  hehe.  I really love the fruit/veggie comparisons!
Total Weight gain:  yikes, 20 pounds as of Tuesday's appointment. 
Maternity clothes?  yes.  :)  I still have some long drape-y tanks that I wear to work.  This week 2 women asked me in one day when I'm due & my manager got indignant for me.  I mean, yes, I am pregnant, but isn't it a widely accepted social truth that you don't ASK a woman about it? 
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep: Sleeping good still, trying to finish my water intake before 8 so I'm not up quite as much peeing.  But otherwise good. 
Best moment this week: Our crib came today!  The box is ginormous and pretty much takes over the living room.  Loved hearing little girl Tuesday on the doppler!  Got to talk to my mama for 2 hours after my appointment, and we talked mostly about baby girl's crib bedding (which she's making).  I ordered 15 swatches and I have to narrow it down to 5 max.  Excited for them to come & see what will pair well together!

Miss Anything? Not really!  This time of year I really enjoy having a glass of red wine in the evening after dinner so if I miss anything it's that.  And I know I *could* have a small glass at this point in my pregnancy, but it's not an important thing, why risk it?  (my opinion).
Movement:  She is moving more and more!  Last night she would NOT settle down when I got in bed. And at my appt my OB was laughing because she could barely get her heartbeat reading (which only takes 1 second of inactivity to register).  Little one wouldn't stop the acrobatics. 
Food cravings: chocolate, Chai tea
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope. 
Gender: Girl!
Labor Signs: nope.

Symptoms: nosebleeds (kinda- when I blow my nose, not random, throw your head back nosebleeds...)
Belly Button in or out? In still. 

Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: happy!  although I can cry on demand. 
Looking forward to: Painting the nursery this weekend!  We're going to a harvest party on Saturday- I'm excited to see some of my friends in Seattle!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

23 week update

It is unreal how late to the game I am in documenting my pregnancy.  I'm more than halfway there!  Things feel like they're starting to really take off now that my belly is round.  And better late than never, right?  

How far along? 23 weeks, 3 days
Baby is the size of: a large mango/grapefruit- over a pound this week!

Total Weight gain: I think 12 pounds.  I can't remember where I was at my last appointment & refuse to weigh myself at home. 
Maternity clothes? Exclusively.  I bought some cute things this weekend to carry me into colder weather.  But I'm wondering what to do about a coat!  It started raining this week & my northface *just* zips up over my boobs and belly.  (Also had to buy new bras in a letter I never fathomed before...cannot wait to see these puppies when my milk comes in.  Matt & I talk about that all the time.)  Anyway, back to the coat...since it rains more than it snows in WA, it makes more sense to go the waterproof route with a fleece attached than a wool winter coat but those maternity peacoats are so cute!  I'm going to try to find a consigned option. 
Stretch marks? Not yet.
Sleep: Been sleeping great! 
Best moment this week: Angie's shower was a huge highlight!  Also the nursery is almost all cleared out & we picked the paint color! Baby girl has been moving around a lot which is amazing!

Miss Anything? Leaning up against surfaces without hitting my belly.  That's a weird new issue- the belly's in the way & it's hard to maneuver around!  Also miss leaning over normally- I can't do it without groaning now.  :)
Movement: I feel her more and more now!  Always when I first settle into bed but more during the day now, too!  Mostly little stretches and kicks but my favorite is when she rolls.  Last night she was doing it so much it tickled and I couldn't stop giggling.  Mostly because I was so happy to feel her but it really did tickle.
Food cravings: Tapatio, fruit, gelato.  I cannot get enough Tapatio.  I have it on eggs every. morning.  So good. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: One of my co-workers had to leave yesterday because he was throwing up in the bathroom (and we could all hear him) and that almost did me in.  But otherwise, haven't been sick since the 4th of July (@ 9 weeks).  I feel really lucky on that count.  This little lady has been pretty easy.  And I pray she stays that way.  Especially through puberty.  Please, Lord.

Gender: Girl!
Labor Signs: nope.

Symptoms: Lower back achiness, sensitive gums. I've been more tired the last few days & I'm not sure if it's just because it's the end of the workweek or because little one is going through a growth spurt.  Random leg cramps. 
Belly Button in or out? In.  I have a seriously deep belly button so it's going to take a LOT to push it out.  Matt has been charting its progress though, and it is getting more shallow. 
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: HAPPY
Looking forward to: The crib should be arriving sometime next week!  I'm so excited to start putting her nursery together!  I'm working on a grey, pink & cream theme.  Also to hearing her heartbeat again at my appointment Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Angie's Shower

My SIL Angie, who is wonderful, had her baby girl Samantha on September 19th, 5 1/2 weeks early.  I had been planning a gender-neutral shower but happily added pink accents to properly welcome Samantha Jean. The party was Sunday, and it was so much fun to prepare for and throw!
our front door (I can't figure out how to remove the 'no soliciting' sign.)
pink & green balloons lining the walkway

The menu:
raspberry lemonade
chicken salad sliders
smoked salmon dip & mini toasts
spinach salad
fruit salad
lemon cheesecake bars
oreo truffle pops
raspberry lemon curd cupcakes

raspberry lemonade, mason jars & green striped paper straws

oreo truffle cake pops (these were a big hit)

chicken salad sliders

fruit salad
  My mother in law and Matt's Aunt Lorie did all of the food except for the oreo pops (all me, baby) so I had time to go a little nuts with decor.  I'm especially proud of the banner I made!  Apparently these are the crafts I'm capable of while my husband watches football in the evenings.  :)
Angie & I
  I put together a scrapbook for Samantha with pages for everyone to write on for her.  Each page had a title like "I hope you learn...", "I hope you ignore...", "I hope you experience..." 
This was a really fun keepsake for the guests to work on! 

Samantha's scrapbook & pages with prizes for games

thank you cards
some of the games

adorable diaper cake Aunt Lorie made

the boys showing us their Halloween costumes (& guarding their sister)

My sweet niece Samantha

there are mostly clothes in here.  everyone loves a little girl! 

Samantha got a TON of cute clothes! 
 She couldn't stay for the shower per her pediatrician's orders (premies need extra TLC, and keeping them out of crowds during cold & flu season is apparently key). 

Wow, whoever is lucky enough to be born in a few months sure will get some great hand-me-downs (Hey, that's MY little girl!)  :) 

I had a great time! :)

All in all, I think it was a great success, especially being the first shower I've ever thrown! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Girl Harber!

A few weeks ago, we found out that we are having a girl in February! 

When we found out we were pregnant (back in May, basically a few weeks after my last post) we debated whether or not we would find out the gender.  Debated as in Matt trying to convince me that it would be nice to wait and me successfully convincing him that I cannot POSSIBLY have information available to me and NOT find out. 

Plus, that would keep us from experiencing a gender reveal as inspired by Pinterest!

So Matt agreed that we would find out the gender of our baby.  
And I scoured Pinterest for the cutest reveal ideas.

And then our dishwasher broke.  

This was around June, about 10 weeks before we would have our ultrasound, and I made sure Matt knew that we were NOT THROWING AWAY that big box the new dishwasher came in.  

It sat in the garage all summer until the day I could do this: 

please ignore the crap in my garage...

We asked the ultrasound tech not to tell us, but to text my mother-in-law (who was prepared with a helium tank, the box, and a bunch of pink & blue balloons) "boy" or "girl".  
She was a trooper (actually, they both were!)

Matt's cousin Amanda (who is an incredibly talented photographer building her portfolio) took the pictures on a trestle bridge in Orting, WA (it's the Orting bike trail, for locals) and I love how they turned out!

I love the look on my husband's face...
pink!  it's a girl!

our sweet baby girl!  I love her button nose!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pretzel buns!

Friday night we hung out with friends Ruthy & Andy at  Carlee & Brad's .  We had a FANTASTIC dinner & then split up by gender.  We girls talked about baking and babies and budgets (I had a great time, ladies!) while our husbands watched variations of the song We are Young by Fun on Youtube, pretty much for an hour.  We kept hearing hysterical laughter from the other room. Random, but we had a blast.  Thank you, Carlee (& Brad), for a great Friday!

We had a lazy rest of the weekend.  The most notable thing we made were these:

Pretzel Bun burgers with Tomato Jam

On Sunday, Ruthy (check out her blog DiscoveryStreet!) checked in on facebook at one of our favorite restaurants in Tacoma, Dirty Oscar's Annex.  They make the most amazing burgers with pretzel buns & tomato jam.  We decided to try to recreate both.

I found this pretzel bun recipe on allrecipes.  Their top rated recipe for anything you search for is pretty much failproof.  These buns didn't disappoint. (I will share Matt's tomato jam recipe in another post.)

Matt sprinkling the buns with salt before they went into the oven

What you need:

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • sea salt
    finished product- these were so good!

    What to do:

    1. Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
    2. Add milk, shortening, eggs, oil, 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in remaining 3 cups of flour by hand, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough will be VERY sticky.
    3. Drizzle some vegetable oil in a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp, warm cloth and let rise in a warm place.  (I like to periodically place the damp dishcloth in the microwave for 30 seconds, so that even if you can't find a "warm place", the dough in the bowl can rise.)   When dough has doubled in volume, about 1 hour, uncover and punch it down.
    4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    5. Pull off baseball size portions of dough and roll into "snakes" about 6 inches long. Roll each "snake" into a spiral to give the tops some texture. Set each formed bun aside.
    6. Mix the baking soda and 4 cups hot water in a bowl. The baking soda does not need to dissolve completely. Dip each bun in the baking soda solution before placing on a baking sheet. Brush each bun with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the preheated oven until brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.  Try not to eat these too quickly!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

18 months in review

in the past 18 months since I last posted (I know, I'm sorry..), here are a few pictures of what we've done:

we have worked:
Matt's 6 commission check day

and renovated our kitchen:

before: oak cabinets, laminate flooring & countertop
during: painting the cabinets, added granite counters, tile floors & can lights
after!  we love.

we've added this fur machine to our little family:
Mia, day 1 with us
Mia now...she sat here throughout his whole nap & he 
never woke up.

and she has become Paris' best best friend

Paris & Mia's tough life
we have traveled to Philadelphia for my baby sister's high school graduation:
matt taking on my Grandma, the queen of Scrabble
with my parents & sis at the Liberty Bell
with Anna in Philly

peonies in the lobby of the Plaza

to Mexico to watch our friends get married:

and to Bermuda to hold hands with each other.

the beachfront at our hotel
crystal caves

I've been promoted twice...

and have had one miscarriage.

And through it all, all of those joys and that one incredible heartbreak, I have loved, loved, loved being married to my wonderful husband.  He is my best friend, makes me laugh and makes my knees go weak every day, and I am so blessed to be his wife.